What are you planning to do?
Moto has now submitted an application to build a new Motorway Service Area (MSA) south of the M25 at Junction 20. Moto is the UK’s leading provider of with 45 locations and 5,000 staff. Founded in 1962 (as Granada), it became known as Moto Hospitality Limited in 2001.
Why do we need a service area here?
Driver fatigue accounts for 20% of accidents on motorways so Government policy seeks to ensure that there are MSAs at regular intervals. This section of the M25 is one of the busiest stretches, yet the distance between the Cobham and South Mimms MSAs is 44 miles and for those travelling from the M1 the distance between Toddington and Cobham is 68 miles. This presents a significant public safety risk.
The A41 is already congested so how can you access an MSA from the it?
MSAs do not generate significant additional traffic as they are used by drivers on journeys already taking place. They can however create additional traffic movements at junctions, so the proposals include improvements to increase the capacity of J20, minimise delays and mitigate the traffic impacts of the scheme.
Why are you applying to build on Green Belt?
The M25 is within the London Metropolitan Green Belt and new MSAs have to be co-located alongside the motorway they serve. The design of this MSA offers a sensitive response to its setting with green roofs and other environmental enhancements. The advantage of having the new MSA on an existing junction is it requires less land take.
How will you stop the MSA spoiling the way the area looks?
The MSA is designed to blend into the landscape. Crabtree Dell provides a backdrop and will help contain views from the east and north east. Wide tree planted boundaries on all sides will also screen the site from certain views.
The parking areas will be tiered to accommodate the slope of the site and include generous planted beds and trees to provide additional screening. The main amenity building will have a green ’living’ roof.
How will you minimise light pollution?
Vehicle parking and roadways will use LED technology to minimise excess light with lux levels of 10 – 20 (equivalent to sunset) and “full cut off” to reduce the light emitted upwards to 0%. Boundary lighting levels will be below 1 lux (equivalent to twilight). Low-level landscaping will help reduce glare from vehicle headlights at night.
What consultation have Moto done on this proposal?
Moto has consulted residents, elected representatives and other stakeholders through a series of exhibitions, meetings and briefings. A newsletter was delivered to 2,189 residential and business addresses closest to the site and there has been widespread media coverage and a dedicated consultation website.
What design changes has Moto made in response to feedback?
1. The amenity building will have a ‘green’/’living’ roof to help lessen the visual impact of the building from viewpoints where it might be seen.
2. Terracing within the site will feature planting and ‘living’ walls to lessen impact on local views.
3. Additional evergreen trees, and more mature trees, will be planted within the perimeter screens to help reduce the visual impact of the site
4. There will be no gravel paths within the site as this makes wheelchair movements difficult.
5. The lodge hotel design has been reduced from three storeys to two storeys to reduce visual impact
How many new jobs will be created by the MSA?
The new service area will involve an £80 million investment in the local economy and would create 200 permanent jobs for local people offering excellent internal succession within the Moto company.